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Full text of "NightRider"

302

friends, for you are my friends, and I count no higher privilege
than the privilege of saying to this body of people now before

me, you are my friends—I say this to you, my friends-----"

Mr. Munn thought: He has no friends, not even the people
who bought him out, body and soul, lock, stock, and barrel
Nobody up there in that big house now. Not those people
from Louisville and Washington, any more. Just a few
slimy, lickspittle sucktails who would hang round saying, yes,
Senator—yes, sir, Senator, for a couple of drinks and a ten-
cent cigar.

"—there is no finer thing than friendship, friendship and
loyalty, loyalty to one's friends, loyalty to one's ideals. When
I am dead—but I hope and trust our Almighty Father to
grant me further years of service to the people of my section—
open my heart, and in the words of the poet, you will find
graven upon it-----"

The bastard, Mr. Munn thought.  Then, the poor bastard.

That night, the night following the afternoon of the arrival
of the troops at Bardsville, the two warehouses at French
Springs were dynamited and burned, and the long, old,
wooden-covered bridge over the river there was dynamited.
Some people said that it had been mined to be blown up when
the troops came over the next day from Bardsville, and that
the explosion that night was an accident. They said it was
God's providence, saving the lives of all those soldiers, and a
lot of them not much older than schoolboys, and hog-friendly
if you'd let them.

The bridge had not been mined. It was blown up by ten
sticks of dynamite, two packages of five sticks each, attached
to the lower part of the central stone pier. At the blast the
pier had toppled over, the old stonework disintegrating into a
heap of rubble, about which the waters, when the last echoes
had died away between the high banks, lapped lullingly. The
wooden superstructure, as it lay crumpled up on its side, had
been fired. It burned slowly, but to the water's edge, like an
abandoned hulk, no longer seaworthy. But while the men
had been out in a skiff preparing to affix the two charges of